Doc Blog

Mukhtaran Mai (left, background) made a surprise visit at the screening Shame, a work in progress which documents her remarkable story as an illiterate rape victim who has become an international spokesperson for the empowerment of women.

A few years ago, while living in her home of Meerwala, Pakistan, Mai’s brother was accused of having an affair with a woman. As a so-called "honour for honour" punishment, Mukhtaran was sentenced to be raped and then paraded around the town. Mai filed a police report and eventually took her case to the Supreme Court, garnering international attention and reparation offer of 500,000 rupees from the Pakistani government, which she used to build a school for girls. This amazing story is told through the lens of talented young director Mohammed Naqvi (left) who is planning to show the film in Pakistan when it is finished. Showtime will air the film on television in the U.S. The film looks at Mai’s family and the families of the men charged with the rape; men who now have relatives enrolled in Mai’s school.

Mai was encouraged to the stage by a rousing standing ovation where she answered many questions about her struggles and her hopes for the future with interpretation from Naqvi. The crowd did not want to let her go, and Mai stayed in the lobby long after the Q & A to speak with many eager audience members.

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A stirring story of triumph and the strength of women in adverse circumstances. One issue that was touched upon that I would have liked to see explored in greater depth is the role of the media in raising awareness of Mukhtar's story, and the Pakistan government's sensitivity to media exposure. Why was this story picked up, when so many similar stories around the world are ignored?

Thank you for presenting an important film.
Comment By Mark Kuznicki At 12/09/2021 10:52 AM
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